The PhxP Book Shelf
“Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman” depicted Norman in, shall we say, less than flattering terms.
Normans fans and family were outraged and the war spilled on to this site more than once.
Now , a new biography of Norman “Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music: The Perils of Christian Rock” takes another look at the life and times of the Christian rock icon.
The problem that comes with all “Christian” bios is that people want to read them with a binary equation in mind.
Was this person “saved” or not?
Were they a “good” person or a “bad” guy?
“Sinner” or “saint”?
An honest biography will show that the subject is both…because humans live as complex creatures, not binary equations.
Larry Norman was a very complex man.
The time of the Jesus Movement was a very complex time…one that created waves that are still slapping against the shores of the church.
Author Gregory Thornbury does a fine job of capturing and explaining both the man and his times.
I highly recommend this book if you’re interested in either…
A few years ago we reviewed a book by Jonathan Menn entitled “Biblical Eschatology”.
At that time I declared it to be the best single volume on the subject available and my opinion hasn’t changed over the years.
Now, it’s coming out in a revised second edition.
Here’s the preface;
It has been over four years since Biblical Eschatology was originally published. I am happy that the book generally was well-received and am grateful that Wipf & Stock Publishers have agreed to publish this second edition. The format and objectives of this edition remain the same as the original.
It analyzes all of the major eschatological passages, issues, and positions in a fair, clear, but not superficial way. It tries to make understanding eschatology easier by including a history of eschatological thought and by showing how eschatology fits into the overall biblical storyline and structure. And it shows the importance of eschatology theologically and the relevance of eschatology for practical life. Nevertheless, I have endeavored to do four things in this edition:
· Correct some typographical and other errors and correct links in the bibliography to sources that are available online.
· Flesh out the discussion of a few areas; this augmented discussion is found particularly in chapters 4 and 5 and appendix 2.
· Delete appendix 3 (regarding the “rapture”), since I believe that issue is adequately covered in chapter 9, and add a new appendix 7 on 1 Cor 15:20–57 (regarding the resurrection, the parousia, and the millennium), since that passage is Paul’s longest discussion of the resurrection, and the passage has generated a fair amount of scholarly debate. It is therefore worthy of special attention.
· Interact more with different eschatological views, particularly with preterism (which I believe was unduly slighted in the first edition) and with J. Webb Mealy’s “new creation millennialism” form of premillennialism. I also interact somewhat more with postmillennialsm and the pre-wrath rapture position.
Part of the impetus for this was J. Webb Mealy’s contacting me, forwarding to me his written work, requesting my critique, and giving me his critique of portions of this book. While he has not persuaded me of the correctness of his position (nor have I persuaded him of the correctness of mine), our interchanges were in the highest tradition of scholarly give-and-take. Further, he forced me to consider some issues I had not previously thought much about and to “go deeper” with respect to some other issues. The result, I hope, is that this second edition has been improved and strengthened. . . .
I hope that this second edition will prove to be helpful to all those who are interested in developing a coherent position with respect to an important area of the Bible that, unfortunately, has often either been ignored or abused. I continue to believe what I said at the conclusion of the main text of the first edition (and this one): “By understanding eschatology, we can have a well-integrated theology that enables us to live authentic Christian lives with confidence and hope. Such lives will demonstrate the present reality of the kingdom while we look forward to the final consummation in all its glory.”
If you are a pastor or just wish to be an informed layperson on the subject of eschatology…buy this book.